Author: Greg Valliere
October 11, 2023
THE KILLING IS FAR FROM OVER: Our favorite columnist, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, writes this morning that urban warfare is about to begin in the suffocating maze of apartments and tunnels in Gaza. It will be a slow and brutal war that Israel will win, at an enormous cost.
IGNATIUS WRITES THAT ISRAELI forces will be counter-attacking through buildings that are laced with hidden garrisons and booby-trapped passageways. “On every floor of every building, there could be a threat,” he says. And underneath this hostile city, there are miles of tunnels hiding not just Hamas fighters but also up to 150 Israeli hostages.
ONE MILITARY EXPERT told Ignatius: “Gaza’s urban area is crowded and large, but it also has a large number of multi-floor buildings that must be cleared of weapons and terrorists who don’t wear uniforms. We should steel ourselves for heavy civilian and military casualties.”
THE NEW REALITY: The priority is the safety of Israel itself, rather than individuals. “The most important thing is that we teach the other side that there is no way that they can do this without us changing the reality,” according to Gen. Dan Goldfuss, a paratroop commander. Israeli agents inside Gaza report that Hamas has prepared improvised explosive devices, antitank weapons and other defenses.
A KEY ELEMENT OF THE ISRAELI OFFENSIVE will be to try to decapitate the Hamas leadership. And Ignatius says the Israelis will have some technology advantages — they probably have detailed computer images of every major building in Gaza, “and they can use robots and drones to scout those buildings, find the Hamas defenders and kill them.” Many of the terrorists who kidnapped Israeli hostages were recorded on video — and it’s a safe bet that every one of them will be a target for Israeli revenge.
THE DISMAL END GAME: Ignatius asks — after the assault on Gaza, what then? Does Israel really want to own this poor, hungry enclave that even today, 75 years after Israel’s birth, resembles a refugee camp? “Perhaps Israel’s Arab friends, including a post-normalization Saudi Arabia, can create a stable post-Hamas government in Gaza that can bring prosperity and security to this place of misery and death.”
THAT MAY BE WISHFUL THINKING, as many more weeks of horrific fighting loom ahead. And there’s Iran, which will face covert and overt punishment for its support the ayatollahs who have cheered a pogrom. This pogrom of butchered grandmothers and children is a wake-up call — pure evil is still very much with us.
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